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Who the Tsar Was 

How the Peasants Lived Under the Tsar 

How the Landowners Lived 

How the Workers Used to Live 

The Factory and Mill Owners 

How the Landowners Kept the Peasants in Check .... 

Why Workers Were Imprisoned 

Brave Fighters Against the Tsars • 

The Ulyanov Children 

Vladimir Ulyanov 

St. Petersburg , a City of Workers 

Vladimir Ulyanov and His Friends in St. Petersburg 

Vladimir Ulyanov at a Workers’ Circle 

The League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working 


Vladimir Ulyanov in Exile 


Comrade Lenin 

How the Workers Took Up Arms 

How the Peasants Tried to Get Rid of the Landlords 

Lenin Knew the Workers and Peasants Were Strong 

Why the Rulers Started a War Among the Peoples 

The Workers and Soldiers of Russia Get Rid of the Tsar 

Lenin, the Workers, Soldiers and Peasants Join Forces 

The Great October Socialist Revolution 

Lenin, Head of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Government 

The Union of Workers and Peasants 

Lenin and the Red Army 

A True Friend of the Workers and Peasants of the World 





























Lenin is Remembered and Revered by Working People 

Throughout the World 62 

To Love and Safeguard the Soviet Land 65 

To Be Friends With the Working People of All Lands 68 

Plenty for All 70 

More Knowledge and Greater Skill 74 

Lenin’s Cause and Communism Will Triumph! 76 



M his all happened long ago. Life was very different in 
Russia in those days. 

Those who were wealthy had everything they could 
wish for, but the workers and peasants of Russia lived in 
poverty. Some of the rich owned great estates. They were 
the landlords, or landowners. Others owned factories and 
mills, and they were the capitalists. 


The workers had nothing but 
their own two hands with which to 
work. They and their children 
needed food and clothing and a 
place to live. That was why the 
workers hired out to the factory 
and mine owners. They mined coal 
and ore deep underground. They 
smelted iron and steel to manufac- 
ture machines which belonged to 
the factory and mill owners and 
which made them richer still. The 
workers, however, were paid so 
little for their toil that they barely 
had enough money for bread. 

The peasants owned tiny plots 
of land, and so their harvests were 
small. Quite often they could not 
raise enough crops to feed their 
families. That was why many 
peasants had to hire out to the 

landowners. They plowed and 
sowed, and harvested the landow- 
ners’ fields. Many peasants left for 
the cities to look for jobs in the 
factories and mills. 

The Russian tsar was the rich- 
est landowner of all. He was the 
head of the State, and all the other 
landowners and factory owners 
were his subjects. The tsar ruled 
the country and made its laws. 
Under these laws the workers and 
peasants had to obey the tsar and 
their bosses, the landowners and 

The police, the gendarmes and 
the many officials defended the 
rule of the tsar and the rich. The 
tsar was the defender of the rich 
and the oppressor and murderer of 
the workers and the peasants. 

That is who the tsar really was. 


— — 

Mitya lived in a village. Ivan had a very small plot of land 

which he plowed with a wooden plow. A skinny horse pulled 
the plow. The grain he harvested was never enough to last 
the family until the next harvest. 

One day the village policeman came to Ivan’s house and 
said, “Where’s the money for the taxes you owe the tsar?” 

Since Ivan had no money, he asked the village 
policeman to wait for the payment. 

“If you don’t pay up now, we’ll sell your cow for taxes!” 
the policeman shouted. 

“Please don’t take our cow. If you do, we’ll have no food 
for our boy,” Ivan pleaded. 

“Either you hand it over yourself , or I’ll force you to and 
then I’ll throw you into jail,” the policeman replied and 
went for the cow. 

Maria began to weep, for she knew she would have no 
milk for her son. Mitya became frightened. He hid behind 
his mother as the village policeman led off their cow. The 
other peasant families who had no money for taxes had to 
give the tax-collector a sheep or their chickens. 

When Mitya got a little older his father said, “I can’t 
support you any longer. You’ll have to find a job.” 

Mitya became one of the landowner’s shepherds. He had 
no time to go to school, and so he could not read or write. In 
those days most peasant children did not go to school, 
because they began working at an early age and because 
there were very few village schools. 





■ here was a large estate near the village where Ivan and 
his family lived. A high stone fence surrounded the fine 
white mansion with columns, blocking it from the peasants’ 
view. Each year the landowner and his family came to 
spend the summer here, for the grounds and the mansion 
belonged to him, as did the woods, the fields and meadows 
all around the village. He was the owner of all this land. 
His wife was a stout, well-dressed, stern-looking woman. 
The landowner had a son named Misha. 

Misha had everything a child could dream of, to say 
nothing of good food. In winter Misha lived in town, where 
he went to school. Children of workers, peasants were 
never admitted to this school. 

Misha was not allowed to play with the village children. 
They were poorly dressed and illiterate. Misha’s parents 
kept telling him that he was of noble birth, while the 
peasants’ children were common, ragged and dirty. 

This Russian landowner and his family had a life of 
plenty, as did all the other landowners in those days. 



{ van’s brother Vasily lived in town. He worked in a 
munitions plant. His wife Anna was a weaver in a mill. 
They had a daughter named Masha. At the crack of dawn 
each day, when Masha was still asleep, Vasily and Anna 
would go off to work at their machines, returning home 
exhausted after dark. 

All through the winter months Masha stayed indoors in 
the family’s damp, dark rented room, for she had no warm 
clothes or shoes to wear outside. In the summertime she 
played in the dirty yard. 

All the workers in Vasily’s plant and all the women in 
the mill where Anna worked were as poor as they were, as 
were all the working people in the land. 

Many people were out of work in those days. Being out 
of work meant dying of hunger, and that was why the rich 
could hire an unemployed man or woman and pay them 
next to nothing. 




JLhere was a large town house on the most fashionable 
street. Behind the house were a large garden, orchard and 
yard with stables for the family’s fine horses and expensive 
carriages. The owner of the munitions plant where Vasily 
worked lived in this house. 

He had a son and a daughter. Like the landowner’s son, 
they, too, had everything they could wish for: good food and 
many expensive toys. They were first tutored privately at 
home and then went on to study at schools for the very rich. 



year the harvest was very poor. The peasants in 
the village had no grain and were starving, while nearby 
the landowner’s granaries were filled to the top. The 
peasants went to the landowner to ask him for grain. They 
stood by the front steps, caps in hand, but the landowner 
would not even hear of it. 

“Get out, all of you! I won’t give you anything!” he 

Ivan stepped forward and said, “We’re only asking for 
what we’ve earned. You didn’t plow or sow, or harvest that 
gram. We were the ones who did it for you.” 

That’s right!” one of the peasants shouted. 

“He’s telling the truth!” another said. 

“So you want to rebel? You’ll pay dearly for this!” the 
landowner raged and told his servants to grab Ivan. Ivan 
was then taken to town and thrown into prison. All the 
other peasants who had gone to the landowner’s house to 
ask for grain were flogged. 




M he munitions plant owner wanted to become still 
richer, and so he ordered his workers to work still faster. 

“Don’t agree to this,” Vasily said to his comrades. “Let’s 
all stop working at once. If we do, the machines will stop, 
and the boss will start losing money. Then he’ll have to give 
in to our demands.” 

The workers stopped working, and the wheels of their 
machines came to a standstill. The workers went on strike. 
They stayed out one day, and another, and a third. 

The plant owner called in the police. That night the 
police came to Vasily’s room and arrested him. They took 
him off to jail, saying, “You’re the ringleader. You told the 
workers to go on strike.” 

The other striking workers were thrown into jail, too. 

That was how the factory owners kept the workers in 



MV M any years ago the city of Leningrad was called 
St. Petersburg. That was where the Russian tsar’s pa- 
lace was. Alexander II was the tsar then. He helped the 
landowners and capitalists rule over the peasants and 

A group of brave men and women who wanted to help 
the working people came forth at this time. They had 
decided to get rid of the tsar. They said, “We must kill the 
tsar, for he supports the landlords and factory owners. If we 
kill him, the people will have a better life.” 

A worker named Stepan Khalturin smuggled some 
dynamite into the palace. There was an explosion, but the 
tsar escaped. Then other brave fighters threw a bomb into 
the tsar’s carriage as he was driving through the streets of 
St. Petersburg and killed him. They were arrested and 

The dead tsar’s son, Alexander III, now came to the 
throne. Russia had a new tsar, but nothing else had 
changed. The lot of the workers and the peasants had not 
improved one bit. 




JLhe city of Ulyanovsk, which is situated on the bank of 
the Volga River, was once known as Simbirsk. That was 
where the Ulyanov family came from. The father, Ilya 
Ulyanov, was the director of the region’s State schools. He 
wanted as many village children as possible to attend 
school. The mother, Maria Ulyanova, devoted all of her 
time to bringing up her six children: Anna, Alexander, 
Olga, Vladimir, Dmitry and Maria. Olga died in her youth, 
but all of the others became fighters for a better life for 
their people. 

Alexander Ulyanov, the eldest son, was intelligent, kind 
and just. He knew how poor the people were and wanted to 
discover why this was so. Alexander left home to study at 
St. Petersburg University. There he became friends with 
other young students who were opposed to the tsar. They 
decided to kill Alexander III. However, their plans failed, 
and they were arrested. 

The news of Alexander Ulyanov’s arrest reached 
Simbirsk. He had been sentenced to death. Maria Ulyanova 
left for St. Petersburg, hoping to save her son’s life, but she 
could do nothing. Alexander was executed. 





dary school senior at the time. He was a good pupil, read a 
lot and liked to play chess and to ice-skate. 

When Vladimir learned of his brother’s execution he 
was overcome with grief. Then he began to think about all 
that had happened. He understood Alexander. Indeed, one 
could sacrifice one’s life for the good of the people. But was 
that really the best way to fight? 

“It’s not only a matter of being ruled by a tsar,” 
Vladimir said to himself. “If you kill one tsar, the rich will 
simply put another one in his place. The tsar, the rich 
landowners and the capitalists are so powerful because 
they own the land, the factories and the mills. That means 
that the land, the factories and the mills should be given 
over to those who work. But how can this be done? Who will 
be able to do this?” 

Vladimir studied hard. He spent much of his time 
reading and thinking. Then he, too, left for St. Petersburg. 




■® asily had been released from prison, but could not get 
his old job back. 

“We don’t want troublemakers,” the manager said to 
him. Now Vasily was out of work. He could not find a job 
anywhere else in town, either. 

That was why Vasily sold the family’s belongings and 
used the money for train tickets. Anna, Masha and he 

moved to St. Petersburg where there were many large 
factories and mills that employed thousands of workers. 
Vasily found a job in a large plant. Anna and Masha both 
went to work in a mill. Besides, Masha began attending an 
evening school for workers where she learned to read and 

The family was now settled in St. Petersburg. They 
knew first-hand what hard lives the city’s thousands of 
workers led. The bosses were robbing them by not paying 
them fair wages. However, although there were very few 
bosses, they had thousands of workers slaving for them. 
That meant the workers had to rise up against their bosses 
and fight till they won. 


j n St. Petersburg Vladimir Ulyanov became acquainted 
with workers and students who wanted the working people 
to have a better life. They all admired the brave fighters 
against the tsar, but they saw that these fighters were 
being killed off one by one. That meant they had to lead the 
entire people against all of the country’s rich. 

Vasily Shelgunov and Ivan Babushkin, both workers, 
Gleb Krzhizhanovsky and Zinaida Nevzorova, two stu- 
dents, and Nadezhda Krupskaya, a teacher in an evening 
school for workers, became Vladimir Ulyanov’s closest 
friends. They knew the life of the working people 
first-hand and had read a lot about the way workers in 
other countries were fighting for better conditions. 

“We must go to the workers,” they decided. “In the 
factories they work side by side. They know how to stand up 
for each other and how to organize strikes. We must help 
them unite their forces for the common struggle.” 

Vladimir and his friends organized workers’ circles. 
There they spoke to the workers and explained why they 
were wrong in fighting against the owner of just one 
factory or mill instead of depriving all the landlords and all 
the capitalists of their wealth and power, because the 
workers and the peasants were the true masters of the 
land. Together the workers and peasants would form a 
great force. Together they could bring about a new, bright 
and happy future for all working people. 













■ ■- 1 the plant Vasily soon got to know a worker named 
Pavel. One day Pavel said to him, “Come to our meeting. 
You’ll learn a lot of important things there. But be careful! 
If the tsar’s gendarmes find out about the meeting, we’ll all 
be arrested.” 

Vasily was there at the appointed hour. He recognized 
several of the other men who were from his plant. Then a 
young man arrived whom Vasily had never seen before. 
The young man had keen, intelligent brown eyes. He asked 
the workers to tell him about their living conditions. Then 
he began to speak. 

“The capitalists are making you slave for them, 
comrades. The tsar and his officials defend the rich. They 
throw you into jail, because you don’t want to live in 
poverty. You must unite and rise up against the tsar, the 
landlords and capitalists.” 

That was how Vladimir Ulyanov began his first lecture 
at the workers’ circle. The members of this circle, all of 
whom were from Vasily’s plant, met once a week to study 
together. Soon they began to understand that the workers’ 
main task was to join forces against the rich and build a 
happy life for themselves. 

Vladimir Ulyanov spoke at other workers’ circles, too, 
as did his friends. They told the workers about the huge 
profits the bosses were making at their expense. They 
began printing leaflets and books about this. 

The most progressive and bravest men and women 
belonged to these circles. If they were arrested they did not 
lose heart. The moment they were released or escaped from 
prison they would again join the fight against the tsar and 
the rich. 



U oon there were many workers’ circles in St. Peters- 
burg, but they were all independent of each other. Each 
circle had from five to seven members who only knew what 
was going on at their own factory or mill. However, it was 
important that the members of each circle know about the 
work of the other circles and of the way their comrades in 
other factories and mills were fighting against the bosses. 
This would make them all feel stronger. Then they could 
say, “See how many of us there are. We’re all for one and 
one for all.” 

Vladimir Ulyanov and his friends now headed the work 
of all the workers’ circles in St. Petersburg. In secret they 
organized the League of Struggle for the Emancipation of 
the Working Class. The members of the League knew that 
the tsar’s supporters would be after them, would arrest and 
imprison them, but they were not afraid. The victory of the 
workers and the peasants was what mattered most. 

Vladimir Ulyanov headed the work of the League. 
Although he was only 23 years old at the time, his 
comrades called him “Old Man”. That was because he knew 
so much, because he could plan ahead and because he was 
able to put such spirit into their work. 




1 Sy following Vladimir Ulyanov the tsar’s police spies 
discovered that he was a revolutionary. He and his 
comrades were arrested. They spent over a year in prison 
before the trial and were then sentenced to exile in far-off 
Siberia. At the time Siberia was not at all like it is now: 
there were no large cities, no factories or mills there. 

Vladimir Ulyanov was exiled to Shushenskoye, a 
- age lost in the wilderness. It was a long journey from 
there to the nearest village. Yet, he did not become 
downhearted, for he knew the workers had not given up 
their struggle. One had to know a lot to win that struggle, 
and so Vladimir Ulyanov read many books while in exile. 
His sisters, his brother Dmitry and his friends all sent him 

V ladimir Ulyanov also wrote many articles addressed to 
the workers. He was drawing up a plan of the future 
struggle. A plan that would unite the workers of the entire 
country and not only of a single city. He decided that they 
would have to have a workers’ newspaper. It would unite 
them in their common struggle. 

Nadezhda Krupskaya was also exiled. She was given 
permission to reside in Shushenskoye, and she and 
Vladimir Ulyanov were married there. From then on they 
carried on the fight together. 


l^ittle streams flow onward to form a river. Ever new 
streams and tributaries join the river, making it broad and 
mighty. When the working people began their struggle 
against the tsar and the rich it was like a river starting on 
its course. 

At first, there were small secret workers’ circles at some 
of the factories and mills. Then the members of the circles 
came to know each other and began working together, 
setting up new workers’ organizations in St. Petersburg, 
Moscow and Kiev, in the factory settlements in the Urals 
and in other parts of Russia. The members of these 
organizations were faithful comrades who would never 
betray their cause, no matter how great the danger. The 
time had come to unite all workers’ circles in the country. 

Vladimir Ulyanov’s term of exile ended. Since he was 
not allowed to live in St. Petersburg, he settled in a nearby 
town and summoned his comrades there. They would decide 
on the publication of a newspaper Vladimir Ulyanov had 
thought about so much all during his exile. 

They would not be able to publish a paper which told the 
people the truth about the hard life of the workers and the 
peasants and about their struggle against the tsar and the 
rich in Russia. That was why Vladimir Ulyanov went 
abroad and was joined by other comrades who shared his 
ideas. Soon they were putting out a newspaper. It was 
called Iskra, which means “The Spark”. It was a difficult 
and dangerous task to smuggle the newspaper into Russia. 
Many of the people connected with the paper were 
imprisoned and exiled for this. 

The workers of Russia now had their own newspaper. 
Iskra helped them to join their forces, which were growing 
from day to day as workers throughout the country united 
against the tsar and the factory owners. 




Mladimir Ulyanov was the editor-in-chief of Iskra. He 
worked long hours every day. In the morning the mailman 
would deliver a large packet of newspapers which he 
subscribed to. The newspapers were in Russian, English, 
German, French and Italian. Although Vladimir Ulyanov 
was a quick reader, he never left anything out or forgot 
what he might later use in his work. Vladimir Ulyanov also 
wrote very quickly. He wrote letters to his comrades in 
Russia and asked the workers to send in articles and 
questions to which they would like an answer to the 
newspaper. He also wrote articles and books. 

The tsar’s officials were afraid of Vladimir Ulyanov’s 
articles and books. If gendarmes searched a worker’s room 
and found a copy of Iskra or a book written by Vladimir 
Ulyanov they would arrest the worker and sentence him to 
prison or exile. That was why Vladimir Ulyanov began 
signing his articles and books with names that were not his 
own. One of the names he used was Lenin. 

This became a name the workers revered and loved, for 
they knew that Lenin would always tell them the truth. 
And he did. 

“Our struggle will be a very difficult one. The landow- 
ners and the capitalists will not give up their riches of their 
own free will,” Lenin said. 

The Iskra staff organized a congress of workers’ 
organizations of Russia. The delegates to this congress 
discussed ways of fighting against the tsar and the rich and 
of bringing the peasants into their struggle so that together 
they could overcome their enemies. If they succeeded the 
land, factories and mills would then belong to the people. 
That meant the workers and peasants would be working for 
themselves and not for a handful of bosses. 

At this congress the Iskra group, headed by Lenin, 
formed a party. This party was the vanguard of all working 
people fighting for communism. 



^^ith each passing year life in Russia was becoming 
more difficult for the workers and the peasants. The tsar 
declared war on Japan, for the Russian landowners and 
factory owners wanted to gain new lands. 

On January 9, 1905 the workers of St. Petersburg, their 
wives and children set out for the tsar’s palace. They 
wanted to tell the tsar about their hard lives and their 
poverty. They thought the tsar would take pity on them, 
but instead he ordered his troops to open fire on them. 
Many people were killed that day. From then on even the 
most ignorant workers stopped thinking that the tsar 
would help them. They finally came to understand that 
only by fighting against the tsar would they ever have a 
better life. 

Workers in many of the factories and mills of St. 
Petersburg went on strike. The tsar’s troops were ordered to 


open fire on them. How could the workers defend them- 
selves? They began putting up road blocks to stop the 
soldiers. They used fallen telegraph poles, boards, barrels 
and anything else that came to hand. 

“The workers are building barricades!” the people said 
and many helped them. Red flags waved on the barricades. 
The red of the flags symbolized the blood shed by the 
workers in their struggle for a better life. The lettering on 
the flags read* 

“Freedom or death!”, “Down with the tsar!” 

The workers turned up paving stones and threw them at 
the soldiers, for there were not enough rifles and revolvers 
for all. Workers in other cities joined the fight against the 
tsar and his troops but they, too, were poorly armed. 

Lenin appealed to all Party members and to all workers: 
“To arms! You must learn to shoot!” Money was collected 
for arms that were purchased abroad. Courageous Party 
members smuggled these arms into Russia, where they 
were distributed among the workers. 

There were pitched battles on the streets of Moscow in 
which the workers fought valiantly. 

In November Vladimir Lenin, using an alias, arrived in 
St. Petersburg where he spoke at mass meetings of workers 
and helped to strengthen and organize the Party’s forces for 
the struggle ahead. 




ml here was unrest in the villages as well. 

“Let’s get rid of the landowner. He owns as much land as 
the peasants in ten villages do. He and his children are 
rolling in money, while our children go begging for bread,” 
Ivan said to his fellow-villagers. 

The peasants armed themselves with axes, scythes and 
fence poles and attacked the manor house. The landlord 
became frightened. He got into his carriage, and his fine 
horses carried him and his family off. 

The peasants divided up the landlord’s stores of grain. 
They plowed his land, and their children now played on the 
landlord’s well-kept grounds. 

Peasants in some villages chased out their landlords, 
but in many others they were afraid to do so, for they were 
still not united in their struggle. 


Hrfito P'/ 




JLhe factory owners and landlords appealed to the tsar 
for help, and the tsar told his soldiers not to spare their 
bullets in putting down the uprising. 

The workers were poorly armed. They had too few 
rifles and revolvers, while the tsar’s troops were armed 
with machine-guns and cannons. The peasants had no 
arms at all, nothing but pitchforks and scythes, and so 
the soldiers mowed them down, slashing them with their 
sabres and bayonetting them. Many workers were killed 
in the cities. Many peasants were killed in the villages, 
still greater numbers of workers and peasants were 
thrown into jails, exiled to places where they were sure 
to die or were executed. Vasily was killed at this time. 

This uprising of workers and peasants was put down. 

The tsar’s police spies were looking high and low for 
Lenin. His comrades barely managed to conduct him 
safely abroad again. On a dark night Lenin was guided 
across the thin ice of the Bay of Finland and narrowly 
escaped drowning. Soon, however, he was back at his post 
of leading the Party and the workers’ struggle. 

Many believed that the workers would never win the 
battle against the tsar, the landowners and the capita- 
lists. They said it had been a mistake for them to have 
taken up arms. 

Lenin, however, said and wrote that the workers and 
the peasants were strong, that they had learned much 
from this uprising and must be better armed. He said the 
peasants should be better organized for the struggle 
ahead and that the workers and peasants should unite. 
Lenin said the struggle should not be forgotten and the 
people should prepare for still greater battles ahead. 





here are many countries in the world inhabited by 
many peoples. At that time all the countries were ruled 
by kings or the rich, all of whom wanted to become still 
richer. That is why the capitalists of various countries 
warred against each other. They wanted to snatch each 
other’s land and riches and make the conquered working 
people slave for them. 

In 1914 the Russian tsar and the German Kaiser 
began such a war. The capitalists of other countries took 
sides and also sent their soldiers into battle. Mitya, 
Ivan’s son, was called up for active service. At the front 
lines he was forced to kill young German and Turkish 
workers and peasants. They, in turn, slaughtered the 
Russian, English and French workers and peasants. 

While the working people were being killed on the 
battlefields, the capitalists and rich landowners were 
living happy lives in their fine homes, selling their 
governments grain, cannons, rifles and other goods for 
the armies and making fortunes. 

Lenin called upon the working people of all lands to 
end the war, to stop killing each other. He said they were 
all brothers and that they all had the same enemies: the 
capitalists and landowners, and their rulers. He called 
upon the soldiers to turn their guns against their 
common enemies. 

The Communists of Russia agreed with this. They 
appealed to the workers, peasants and soldiers to turn 
their guns against the tsar and the rich. They circulated 


leaflets and pamphlets in secret among the population 
and the soldiers at the front lines. One of these leaflets 
was passed on to Mitya in the trenches. After reading it 
he said, “Everything that’s written here is the truth.” 

There were Germans, too, who spoke out against the 
war that was only making the capitalists richer. People 
in other countries said the same. 

“Lenin is our true friend. He always speaks the 
truth.” Workers, peasants and soldiers of many lands 
where Lenin’s writings became known shared these 




Ji_he war dragged on. 

St. Petersburg was now called Petrograd. There was 
hunger in the city. Mothers would leave their homes at 
night to line up outside the bakeries. The lines were very 
long. The women would stand there all through the 
night, because at home their children were hungry. In 
the morning the bakeries would finally open, and bread 
would be rationed at two hundred grams for each person. 
The bread was of a very poor quality, because it was 
made of old flour. Even so, there was not enough to go 
around. There was a demonstration of working men and 

“We want bread! Give us bread! Down with the tsar! 
Down with the tsar’s war!” they shouted. 

The tsar sent his troops to break up the demonstra- 
tion, but instead the soldiers raised their rifles into the 
air and shouted, “End the war! Down .. with the tsar!” 

The soldiers and workers of Russia united and 
overthrew the tsar. This was in February 1917. Although 
there was no more tsar, the landowners and capitalists 
set up their own government. They said to the people, 

“There’s no tsar any longer. Now we all have to join 
forces: landowners, factory owners, workers, soldiers and 
peasants, and build a new life. But in order to do this we 
must first win the war.” 

The workers and soldiers of Petrograd said, “No! The 
landowners and capitalists are our enemies. How can we 
join them? We do not want to fight to make them richer.” 

The workers in the factories and the soldiers in their 
regiments elected their own representatives. They orga- 
nized the Soviets (Councils) of Workers’ and Soldiers’ 
Deputies. They told their deputies they were to take over 
the governing of the country. Soon Soviets of Workers’ 
and Soldiers’ Deputies were formed all over the country. 




l^enin was anxious to return to Russia, and although 
it was difficult to travel across countries that were at 
war, he was able to reach Petrograd in April 1917. 

Workers from all over the city came to the station to 
meet him, as did many armed soldiers. There were also 
armored cars. 

The moment Lenin appeared he was caught up and 
raised to the top of an armored car so that everyone 
might see and hear him. 

Lenin told the workers and soldiers not to lay down 
their arms, for although they had overthrown the tsar, 
they still had to get rid of the capitalists and the 
landowners to take over the governing of the country. 

Lenin and other Party members often spoke at mass 
meetings of workers and soldiers. Together they decided: 
the workers and soldiers were strong enough to take over 
the land, factories and mills and hand them over to the 
people. Then the Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and 
Peasants’ Deputies would govern the country. The 
capitalists and landowners massed the last of their 
forces: the police, gendarmes and police spies. They 
wanted to arrest and murder Lenin, but the workers hid 
him safely away near Petrograd, on the bank of Lake 
Razliv. He was taken to a hut for mowers that had been 
set up on a meadow beside a haystack. From there he 
wrote to his comrades in Petrograd, saying that the time 
had come for the workers, soldiers and peasants to join 
forces and get rid of the capitalists and landowners. Then 
they would establish their own workers’ and peasants’ 




Uoon it was autumn. Life in the trenches had be- 
come truly unbearable for the soldiers, and they de- 
cided to send a group of deputies to Lenin to ask his 
advice on how to end the war. Ivan’s son Mitya was one 
of this group. When they arrived in Petrograd there was 
shooting in the streets. Workers, sailors and soldiers 
armed with rifles and machine-guns were all hurrying in 
the same direction. They were going to battle the troops 
defending the government of the landowners and capital- 
ists. The lettering on the red banners they carried read: 
“Long Live the Workers’ and Peasants’ Revolution! , All 

Power to the Soviets!”, “End the War! 

“Where can we find Lenin?” Mitya asked. 

“Go on to the Smolny. Lenin is directing the uprising 

from there,” he was told. . 

Mitya found the Smolny. It was a great mansion that 
had once been a finishing school for the daughters of the 
nobility. Now it was the headquarters of the uprising. 

Lenin was guiding the uprising from here. He worked 
around the clock. Dispatches from all over the city were 
brought here to him: the soldiers had taken over an 
ammunition depot; a detachment of workers was in 
control of the telephone exchange, which meant that 
orders could be given by telephone to all parts of the city; 
other workers’ detachments had gained control of the 
central telegraph office and now the Smolny was in 
contact by telegraph with the entire country. 

However, the members of the government of the rich 
would not surrender. They gathered in the tsar’s Winter 
Palace and refused to obey the decisions of the Soviets. 

The crew of the “Aurora” brought the cruiser up the 
Neva River and dropped anchor across from the Winter 
Palace. They fired blank shells, for they did not want to 
destroy the palace. At the same time detachments of 
workers and soldiers approached the Winter Palace from 
the city. They occupied the palace and arrested the 
members of the government of the rich. That put an end 
once and for all to the rule of the rich over the working 
people in Russia. The Great October Socialist Revolution 
had triumphed. This took place on October 25, 1917. 

Each year the Soviet people celebrate this victory, as 
do the working people of all countries, for this victory 
marked the beginning of their victories. 



Mhe workers, soldiers and peasants decided that they 
would govern the country through the Soviets of Work- 
ers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies. All working people 
would elect their deputies to the Soviets. That was how 
the Soviet Workers’ and Peasants’ Republic came into 
being. Lenin was elected head of the Soviet Government. 
For the first time in history workers and peasants had 
become their own masters. 

There was so much to be done. The first and most 
important task was to put an end to the war. Lenin 
appealed to the working people of all the warring 
countries on behalf of the workers and peasants of Soviet 
Russia, calling upon them to sign a peace treaty. 

In Soviet Russia the land that had belonged to the 
landowners was handed over to the peasants. In the 
villages the Soviets of Peasants’ Deputies decided just 
how the land was to be divided up. First to be given land 
of their own were the poorest peasant families. Ivan was 
given a plot and a fine horse from the landowner’s 

A factory or mill cannot be divided up. That is why 
all the factories and mills became the property of the 
people and were managed by the workers themselves. No 
longer did they slave from dawn to dusk as they had 
before the revolution. Now there was an eight-hour 
working day. 

Lenin said it would be impossible to build a new life 
without proper knowledge, and so another important 
decision was taken: as many new schools as possible were 
to be opened, both for children and for adults; there were 
to be more libraries and reading rooms, not only in the 
cities, but in the villages as well; more newspapers and 
books were to be published. 


The Communist Party decided to appoint Nadezhda 
Krupskaya to a post in the People’s Commissariat of 
Education. She worked there all her remaining years, 
devoting her energies to seeing that all of the country’s 
children were attending school, so that there would be no 
more illiterate or semiliterate people in the country; to 
establishing libraries everywhere; to making it possible 
for all Soviet people to know their civic rights and duties 
and thus to be able to take part in the work of the 
Soviets and understand the workings of their govern- 




_M-he war ended, but there was hunger, poverty and 
ruin in Soviet Russia. The factories and mills were closed 
down, the fields were barren, the railroads and locomo- 
tives were wrecked. 

Masha went to work in a factory that produced farm 
machinery. She said, “If we make metal plows for the 
peasants they won’t have to use wooden plows. They’ll be 
able to plow deeper, and there’ll be more food for the 

Mitya returned home to his native village, where the 
landowner’s fields had been divided up among the 

Mitya had seen much in the years he had been away. 
He had met with workers and visited factories. He had 

seen that although there were many workers in a factory, 
each had his own task to do and each did his share to 
complete a job. This made the work go faster. 

“The peasants should join their small plots and farm 
the land together,” the workers had said to him. “They’ll 
raise much bigger crops that way. Then there’ll be much 
more food in the country, enough for the peasants and 
also for the workers, teachers, doctors and all the Soviet 

Mitya took their advice. He organized a commune in 
his village. The members of the commune joined their 
plots and set up one great farm. They divided the various 
jobs among them: some plowed and sowed, others tended 
the horses and still others worked in the smithy. Each 
had his own job to do. 

Lenin knew how hard the people had to work and he 
did, too, never sparing himself. He said that as long as 
all the working people of the Soviet Republic helped each 
other they would overcome the ruin caused by the war. 

Lenin’s words came true. The peasants reaped greater 
harvests. The factories and mills were coming back to 
life, and the railroads were beginning to function again. 
Trains were now carrying grain and farm produce to the 
cities and returning with things the peasants needed so 
badly. Now there was good farm machinery for their 



Ji he former landowners, factory and mill owners 
wanted to go on living in luxury, and so they declared 
war on the Soviet Republic. The capitalists of other 
countries helped them by giving them great sums of 
money and arms, and by sending troops into the Soviet 

The Soviet workers and peasants said, “We’d rather 
die than live as we did before! We’ll defend our Soviet 

Lenin appealed to the workers and peasants of the 
country to create an army that would be able to defend 
the Soviet Republic. 

Thousands of young workers and peasants volunteered 
for active service in the Red Army. They fought under 
red banners against their old enemies, and these red 
banners gave the people’s army its name. 

The war lasted for several years, and all through it 
the Red Army troops fought bravely. 

Lenin liked to talk with the young Red Army men 
and commanders. He liked to listen to their songs and 
especially to one which had the following refrain: 

Never, never, 

Never, never 

Will the Communards be slaves! 

Workers in other countries tried to help the Red Army 
as best they could: they refused to load shells for the 
foreign troops that were fighting against the Soviet 
people; some British and French soldiers and sailors 
refused to fight against the Red Army and went over to 
the side of Soviets. 

The Red Army destroyed its enemies. From then on it 
has protected the borders of the Soviet Republic. 



JL „ 

Republic were their own masters, although the working 
people of other lands wanted to get rid of their rulers, 

Lenin addressed the Communists of all countries and 
suggested that they gather in Moscow and discuss how to 
fight the capitalists. The Soviet workers and peasants 
were ready to help their brothers. Soon delegates of 
working people from many lands began meeting there. 

How did these brave people reach Moscow? Here is 
but one example. A ship was plying its way from 
England to Germany. The sailors had hidden one of the 
delegates deep in the hold where coal for the ship’s 
furnaces was stored. It was not easy to smuggle food to 
him during the journey. In Germany the sailors helped 
him slip past the German police. 

In the face of great danger and with great difficulty 
many delegates reached Moscow. The return trip was still 
more difficult, for the police in the different countries 
were searching for everyone who had been to Moscow. If 
the delegates were found they were arrested, beaten, 
sentenced to hard labor and even put to death. 

Still, this did not stop the Communists of other 
countries. They continued coming to Moscow to meet at 
their congresses. Lenin helped the foreign comrades to 
understand how they could improve the lives of the 
working people in their own countries and throughout 
the world. 

“Workers of the world, unite!” was their slogan. 




enin was a strong man. To keep healthy he did 
exercises even when he was in prison, because he knew 
he would need a lot of strength for the struggle ahead. 
An attempt was made on Lenin’s life by enemies of the 
Soviet Republic. He was gravely wounded. Lenin reco- 
vered and continued working very hard. Then his 
condition took a turn for the worse. He became seriously 
ill. : 

Lenin was taken to the village of Gorki not far from 
Moscow. His doctors thought he would recover there. But 

on January 21, 1924 the country learned the terrible 
news: Comrade Lenin had died. 

Thousands of working men and women came to the 
funeral. Thousands of peasants came in from the 
villages. When Lenin was being laid to rest in the 
Mausoleum on Red Square in Moscow factory whistles 
throughout the country blew a last farewell. Every train 
and vehicle in the country came to a standstill for one 
long minute. News of the death of the workers’ great 
leader spread quickly throughout the world. There was 
not a single country in which the working people did not 

Lenin is no longer with us, but he is remembered by 
working people all over the world. His memory is 
revered. The cause he fought for is their cause. 

As Lenin lay mortally ill he dictated his last articles, 
instructing the Soviet people to work hard for a good life 
for the working people in the Soviet Union and the world 
and to build a communist society. 




very person loves his native land, the country 
where he was born and grew up. He loves its fields, 
forests, rivers, cities and villages. Lenin also loved his 
native land, Russia. He loved the Volga River and the 
city of St. Petersburg with its large factories and mills, 
but he felt especially close to the workers and peasants of 
Russia. They fought stubbornly for their liberation. Many 
staunch Communists came from their ranks. The Com- 
munist Party was always in the vanguard of this 
struggle against the capitalists and landowners. Al- 
though many fell in the battle, many more brave men 
and women continued the fight. 


The workers and peasants of Soviet Russia were the 
first in the world to create a nation without a tsar, a 
king, landowners or capitalists and to govern it them- 
selves. The Red Army defended Soviet power from the 
attacks of the capitalists. Lenin devoted all his energies 
to making Soviet Russia strong, to providing support for 
the working people of all countries. He instructed the 
Soviet people to love their Soviet land and to safeguard 

Many years passed after Lenin’s death. 

In 1941 the fascists, German capitalists who were the 
working people’s greatest enemies, attacked the Soviet 
Union. While the Soviet Army fought bravely on the 
battlefields, the entire Soviet people helped their army by 
working in defense plants and producing as much food as 
possible on the collective farms. 

The Soviet people destroyed the fascist armies and 
defended their Motherland. No one can conquer it. The 
Soviet Army is stronger than ever now. The Soviet people 
have worked hard to increase the might of their nation, 
for they know that if the Soviet Army and the Soviet 
Union are strong, no one will ever be able to prevent 
them from building a communist society. 




-M here is a holiday which we especially like and that is 
May Day. May 1st is Solidarity Day among working 
people of all lands. 

“Workers of the world, unite!” 

“Freedom and equality for all peoples!” 

These words can be heard all over the world. They are 
spoken in many tongues by people of all races. 

Lenin did much to help the working people of the 
world understand and know each other. He taught the 
Soviet people to be friends with the working people of all 
countries, to help them in their struggle for freedom. The 
Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Soviet 
people will always support their struggle. 

During Lenin’s lifetime the workers and peasants of 
one country only, of Russia, overthrew the capitalists and 
came to govern their own land. Now there are other such 
nations and their number is growing. Some of the most 
oppressed peoples of the world have won their freedom. 

There are many young Africans attending college and 
university in the Soviet Union, where there is no and 
never has been any race prejudice. These young Africans 
come from countries which have but recently gotten rid 
of their white capitalist rulers. 


The Soviet Union helps these and other countries 
which have won their freedom to build electric power 
stations, factories, schools and hospitals. Our ships sail to 
Africa, Asia and Cuba, delivering trucks, machinery and 
many other things people who are building a new way of 
life need. 

The capitalists still govern many countries of the 

They would like to destroy the Soviet Union and the 
other countries from which the capitalists have been 
banished. Yet, they dare not start a new war, for they 
know the Land of Soviets is strong and is supported by 
other countries that have won their freedom. Besides, the 
working people of those nations in which the capitalists 
still rule are against war. The working people of the 
world say, “There shall be no war! The peoples of all 
nations want peace and friendship.” 

However, there is still much to be done to bring 
everlasting peace to the world. Peace on Earth means the 
working people of all lands will have a bright future and 
communism will become a reality. 


•rfHS-s twilight falls we go over to the switch on the wall 
and turn on the light. But how does electricity come into 
the room? 

“That’s easy,” you will say. “It comes along the^wires 
that are strung from the poles outside our house.” 

But where do the wires come from? From electric 
power stations where great generators produce electricity. 
Electricity does not only bring light to houses, schools 
and hospitals. Electricity puts trains, ships and machi- 
nery into motion. Some machines work underground, 
helping miners to mine coal or ore; others pump oil to the 
surface; still others make work in the fields easier. 

In the factories machines help man to make buses, 
automobiles, airplanes and so many other things they 
cannot even be enumerated. In the factories and mills 
machines weave cloth for our clothing, sew shoes, print 
books, bind notebooks and make many things we need 
every day. Farm machinery makes it possible to raise 
good crops and to have an abundance of produce. 
Machines make our lives easier. It takes a lot of 


electricity to run all these machines. This means there 
must be many electric power stations, both big and small. 

Before the revolution and the establishment of Soviet 
power there were no large electric power stations in 
Russia. Soon after Lenin became the head of the 
government he summoned the country’s leading scientists 
and engineers and asked them to draw up a plan of the 
electric power stations the country needed. They drew up 
such a plan. Since then Soviet scientists, engineers, 
technologists and workers have been building the world’s 
largest electric power stations, giving the country ever 
more new machinery for the factories and mills and the 
fields of the collective and state farms. With their help 
the Soviet people have built spaceships which have taken 
man far into space. 

There are many electric power stations, factories, 
mills and machines in the Soviet Union, but the country 
still needs more to achieve Lenin’s dream of plenty for 
all. Only then will it be possible to build a communist 




eople who think that machines will start doing all 
the work for us, so that we’ll only have to push buttons, 
are wrong. Man with his skilled hands and fine mind 
always was and always will be the main working force. 
Man makes machines and man controls them. One must 
know a lot to design even the simplest machine. Besides, 
one can control a machine only if one knows how it 

Just think how hard the famed Soviet cosmonauts 
have to study for their flights. If they did not, they could 
never achieve their amazing feats in space. They 
continue to study even after their flights. 

Scientists are constantly discovering new facts about 
man and nature. All this new information has to be 
studied to be understood, otherwise we will not really 
know what is correct and what is incorrect. We shall not 
be able to work as well as we might have otherwise, and 
our lives will not be made as easy as they might have 

Lenin was extremely interested in all the latest 
scientific and technological developments. He wanted to 
know about the modern machines that were being 
invented in the Soviet Union and abroad. If possible, he 
would go to see a new machine and ask to be told about 
the way it worked. 

Lenin was concerned about the younger generation 
acquiring as much knowledge as possible. He wanted 
schoolchildren to learn what working in a factory or in 
the fields was like. He wanted them be a help to their 
elders, to know about tools and machinery. More know- 
ledge and greater skill were needed to build a communist 
society. This was Lenin’s behest. 





llow you have read this book and discovered how the 
grandfathers and grandmothers of today’s Soviet children 
worked and struggled for a life without a tsar, capitalists 
or landowners and how their fathers and mothers are 
building a communist society. 

You have learned just a little bit about Vladimir 
Lenin, the closest friend, comrade, leader and teacher of 
all working people, and about the Communist Party of 
the Soviet Union. You have learned that life is constant- 
ly changing for the better for those who work. Very much 
has been achieved in the Soviet Union. All of its children 
are well-fed and well-clothed. Every child attends school. 
However, much must still be done in order that there be 
more of everything and that children in all countries 
have a good life, too. 



Soviet children are the grandchildren and great- 
grandchildren of peasants like Ivan and workers like 
Vasily. They are the ones who will carry on their cause. 

Even now they are doing a lot of good. It is important 
to think of others and be their friend, to be kind to 
smaller children, to be a good pupil and a help to one’s 
parents, for each Soviet child is a part of the large and 
friendly society of Soviet people. 

Lenin wanted all Soviet children to be healthy, happy 
and educated citizens of the new society. Together with 
their people, they will build communism, which is the 
most just and happiest way of life. 



Malysh Publishers Moscow